What is it?
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition characterized by a combination of uncomfortable bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pain in your pelvis, which can range from mild burning or discomfort to severe pain.. While it can affect children and men, most of those affected are women. Interstitial cystitis can have a long-lasting adverse impact on your quality of life.
How do I recognise it?
The signs and symptoms of interstitial cystitis vary from person to person. If you have interstitial cystitis, your symptoms may also vary over time, periodically flaring in response to common triggers such as menstruation, seasonal allergies, stress and sexual activity.
Interstitial cystitis symptoms include:
- A persistent, urgent need to urinate.
- Frequent urination, often of small amounts, throughout the day and night. People with severe interstitial cystitis may urinate as often as 60 times a day.
- Pain in your pelvis (suprapubic) or between the vagina and anus in women or the scrotum and anus in men (perineal).
- Pelvic pain during sexual intercourse. Men may also experience painful ejaculation.
- Chronic pelvic pain.
Your bladder is a hollow, muscular, balloon-shaped organ that stores urine until you're ready to empty it. In adults the bladder expands until it's full and then signals the brain that it's time to urinate, by communicating through the pelvic nerves. This creates the urge to urinate in most people. With interstitial cystitis, these signals somehow get mixed up, and you feel the need to urinate more often and with smaller volumes of urine than most people.
It's likely that many people with interstitial cystitis also have a defect in the protective lining (epithelium) of their bladder. A leak in the epithelium, for example, may allow toxic substances in urine to irritate your bladder wall.
How do you treat it?
Like any disease, even if there is no cure, there is almost always something you can do to manage it and take control. There are three main areas involved in the treatment of any disease:
- Conventional medicines
- Complementary medicines
- Complementary therapies
For information on medicines and therapies relevant to Interstitial Cyctitis, make an appointment at your nearest Intervene pharmacy.
Learn all about the drugs used to treat the disease and any complementary medicines or therapies proven to help. Equip yourself with the tools to manage the condition and not be managed by it.
How do you live with it?
Certain adjustments may be needed to get on with your life, and often, some simple tips and advice can go a long way to making these changes.
When you come to an Intervene clinic we give you any information available to make your life easier and enable you to live with your condition.
Interstitial cystitis- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstitial_cystitis
Interstitial cystitits, a comprehensive overview, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/interstitial-cystitis/DS00497